A 2021 survey conducted by Caring.com and YouGov found that the Covid-19 pandemic has definitely increased people’s desires to get an estate plan (by 35 percent), but the actual percentage of people with an estate plan has not changed since pre-pandemic 2020. However, the survey did find that young adults (those between 18 and 34) are now more likely to have a basic estate plan than are middle aged adults (those between 35 and 54 year). Young adults tend to cite the Covid-19 pandemic as the reason behind their decision to get an estate plan. Despite that fact, even now, roughly 2/3rds of Americans do not have even the most basic of estate planning documents. Why is that? Here are some of the most cited reasons:
Reason 1: “I’m too young.”
Reality: “If you are a legal adult, you are not “too young” to have an estate plan.”
No one is “too young” to have an estate plan. And if you wait until you are on your death bed to formulate a plan, it will likely be too late. One of the most unfortunately truths of this world is that people die at all ages. Life is, as they say, unpredictable. One of the most important things to remember is that estate planning is not just about the person who creates one–it is also about their loved ones. So despite the fact that you may not have kids, despite the fact that you may not have a large amount of assets, and despite the fact that you may think that you are “invincible,” if you have people in your life who you love or are loved by others and you want to provide for them in some meaningful way, it is never “too early” to get an estate plan. That estate plan may not be robust; it may even be incredibly simple, but it will ensure that you are the one that decides what happens to your assets, your being, and your children.
Reason 2: “Estate planning is expensive and time consuming.”
Reality: “While there is a cost to estate planning, each estate plan is specifically tailored to meet you and your family’s needs.”
It’s true that there’s a cost to estate planning. Yet, there are a lot of things that you do to provide for others that cost money: life insurance, retirement plans, buying and selling your assets. When you spend money on an estate plan, you are not merely paying for the paper it is printed on. An estate plan is so much more; namely, it is the peace of mind that comes with knowing that your affairs are in order and that your loved ones will be cared for after your passing. In addition, estate planning is not a one-size-fits-all document. It is specifically tailored to meet you and your family’s needs. Some estate plans require more, and some require less.
Of course, when one weighs the benefits of an estate plan, he or she should also consider the cost of not having one as well. This will be covered in a subsequent post.
Reason 3: “I don’t have enough stuff.”
Reality: “Estate planning is so much more than just the distribution of assets.”
A comprehensive estate plan will name guardians for minor children, assign someone you trust as the attorney for your finances and health care, state your wishes regarding medical care, and even dictate burial instructions for after you pass. With those documents properly created, executed, and filed as necessary, such an estate plan will alleviate unnecessary stress for your family during a medical crisis, ensure that your wishes are followed when you cannot communicate them, and provide a means for you to continue to care for those who you love.
Reason 4: “I don’t know how.”
Reality: “We can help!”
This one is an easy fix. Call us now for a free consultation at (888) 367-8198. One of our experienced attorneys will walk you through the process.